Teeth cleaning (also known as prophylaxis, literally a preventive treatment of a disease) is a procedure for the removal of tartar (mineralized plaque) that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, especially in areas that are difficult to reach in routine toothbrushing. It is often done by a dental hygienist. Professional cleaning includes tooth scaling and tooth polishing and debridement if too much tartar has accumulated. This involves the use of various instruments or devices to loosen and remove deposits from the teeth.
In the past, teeth were filled with a mixture—or amalgam—of different metals. Today that is changing as more natural-looking and metal-free dental fillings are becoming the preferred approach. Dentists are using more tooth-like materials (composite resins and porcelains) that are both safe and predictable. The most important feature, for many people, is that they look and react more like natural teeth.
Tooth whitening (termed tooth bleaching when utilizing bleach), is either restoration of natural tooth shade or whitening beyond natural tooth shade, depending on the definition used. Restoration of the underlying, natural tooth shade is possible by simply removing surface (extrinsic) stains (e.g. from tea, coffee, red wine and tobacco) and calculus (tartar). This is achieved by having the teeth cleaned by a dental professional (commonly termed “scale and polish”), or at home by various oral hygiene methods. Calculus is difficult to remove without a professional clean.
CAD/CAM dentistry involves a digital impression from one or more scans (using visible light scanning, digital radiographs, CT scans, or other methods), designing the restoration on the computer (computer-aided design, leading to a 3D model), and manufacturing the restoration (computer-aided manufacturing, whether by CNC milling, 3D printing, or other means). In order to carry all of these steps out in the dentist’s office – chair-side – the dentist requires an image acquisition unit with an intra-oral camera, the corresponding designing software, and a milling machine or a printer. If the dentist does not have a milling unit in their office, they can send the data in a digital file to the dental laboratory via an online portal. The lab designs and manufactures the restorations according to the dentist’s prescription and then sends the finished restorations back to the dentist’s office. Around 38,000 dentists worldwide use the CEREC method and thus produce some 6.9 million restorations each year (as of October 2013).
Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain used to recreate the natural look of teeth, while also providing strength and resilience comparable to natural tooth enamel. It is often the material of choice for those looking to make slight position alterations, or to change tooth shape, size, and/or color.
Dental Implants are a new alternative in tooth replacement. The procedure consists of two stages: placement of a replacement tooth root at your dental specialist’s office, followed by placement of a tooth replacement (crown) at our office. There are now a wide variety of dental implant placement procedures that vary in duration and materials. Any implant procedure is preceded by a detailed consultation and case planning with your dental team.
Has your dentist or endodontist told you that you need root canal treatment? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of teeth are treated and saved each year with root canal, or endodontic, treatment. Learn more about root canal treatment and how it can relieve your tooth pain and save your smile. Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, and helps to grow the root of your tooth during development. In a fully developed tooth, the tooth can survive without the pulp because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it.
When consumers think about orthodontics, braces are the first thing to come to mind. However, orthodontics is more than just braces. Orthodontists are concerned with the position of the teeth, what has caused them to arrive at their current position, and what future movement may be needed so that a patient’s bite is fully functional. Your cosmetic dentist may have some orthodontic options available to straighten your teeth, ranging from conventional braces (with wires and brackets) to invisible braces (clear orthodontic aligners). Each method ranges in price and treatment length, and will vary by patient. Ask your cosmetic dentist about which treatment is right for you.
A removable acrylic appliance intended to relieve temporomandibular joint pain and other effects of grinding the teeth (bruxism). Usually worn at night to prevent grinding during sleep.
A mouthguard (UK: gumshield) is a protective device for the mouth that covers the teeth and gums to prevent and reduce injury to the teeth, arches, lips and gums. A mouthguard is most often used to prevent injury in contact sports, as a treatment for bruxism or TMD, or as part of certain dental procedures, such as tooth bleaching. Depending on application, it may also be called a mouth protector, mouth piece, gumshield, gumguard, nightguard, occlusal splint, bite splint, or bite plane.
Dentures, also known as false teeth, are prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth; they are supported by the surrounding soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity. Conventional dentures are removable (removable partial denture or complete denture). However, there are many denture designs, some which rely on bonding or clasping onto teeth or dental implants (fixed prosthodontics). There are two main categories of dentures, the distinction being whether they are used to replace missing teeth on the mandibular arch or on the maxillary arch.
A removable partial denture (RPD) is a denture for a partially edentulous patient who desires to have replacement teeth for functional or aesthetic reasons and who cannot have a bridge (a fixed partial denture) for any number of reasons, such as a lack of required teeth to serve as support for a bridge (i.e. distal abutments) or financial limitations. This type of prosthesis is referred to as a removable partial denture because patients can remove and reinsert it when required without professional help. Conversely, a “fixed” prosthesis can and should be removed only by a dental professional.
A crown is a type of dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. Crowns are often needed when a large cavity threatens the ongoing health of a tooth. They are typically bonded to the tooth using a dental cement. Crowns can be made from many materials, which are usually fabricated using indirect methods. Crowns are often used to improve the strength or appearance of teeth. While inarguably beneficial to dental health, the procedure and materials can be relatively expensive. The most common method of crowning a tooth involves using a dental impression of a prepared tooth by a dentist to fabricate the crown outside of the mouth. The crown can then be inserted at a subsequent dental appointment. Using this indirect method of tooth restoration allows use of strong restorative materials requiring time-consuming fabrication methods requiring intense heat, such as casting metal or firing porcelain which would not be possible to complete inside the mouth. Because of the expansion properties, the relatively similar material costs, and the cosmetic benefit, many patients choose to have their crown fabricated with gold.
A bridge is a fixed dental restoration (a fixed dental prosthesis) used to replace a missing tooth (or several teeth) by joining an artificial tooth permanently to adjacent teeth or dental implants. Types of bridges may vary, depending upon how they are fabricated and the way they anchor to the adjacent teeth. Conventionally, bridges are made using the indirect method of restoration. However, bridges can be fabricated directly in the mouth using such materials as composite resin.